25 March 2007

A wedding story

Friday was 38 degrees.

Bloody hot.

So bloody hot that we had our fans on full blast and the evaporative cooler on (a rare occurrence). We were wilting. Wilting I tell you.

Saturday morning on the other hand, was so very very cold that the children huddled around the heater to get dressed. (Welcome to Melbourne. Oven-like one day, witch’s tit cold the next).

We left home incredibly early, as we had to be on a faraway beach at low tide. For a wedding.

Oh, it was a long, wet drive.

wet drive

We thought sympathetically of the poor bride, imagining her whimpering about her special day being ruined by the weather. We needn’t have worried, she’s made of stern stuff and didn’t let trivial matters such as earache-inducing wind and pelting rain bother her. Resplendent in bare feet and a shoestring strap dress, she was so high on adrenalin she wasn’t feeling a thing. After a glass of champagne on an empty early-morning stomach (I can’t face breakfast before the sun rises), neither was I.

wedding beach3

Nice, huh? (Now all the Melburnian readers are playing Guess the Wedding Beach).

no need to blow

Did I mention it was windy? The children were given bubbles (the adults got champagne).

There was no need to blow.

wedding beach4

The Good Wedding Fairies were watching over our little gathering and the rain stopped just long enough for the ceremony to take place. The sun even came out as the happy couple signed the papers and we all drank champagne.

See how focussed I am on the alcohol? Have I mentioned it was cold? And windy? And I’d had no breakfast? I was becoming a tad giggly and hysterical by this stage. (Have I mentioned I am a cheap drunk also?)


And as we were leaving, the stormclouds were brewing again.

wedding shoes

Back to the car and off to find hot chocolates (and breakfast for Suse to soak up all that champagne) to thaw out and kill time before the reception.

D’you like my shoes? The old red maryjanes died and I have had to replace them with these until I find the perfect pair. These are not perfect, but they’ll do for now.

I wore my new brooch too. Want to see?


I did wear some other stuff as well. I promise. Black pants, long black tunic with white top underneath.


Here I am, all dishevelled from the wind and cold, peering through the windscreen in hopes of spotting a café serving HOT DRINKS. (I had no idea some child had pinched the camera until I downloaded these this morning. My first thought was Is that what my hair looks like from behind? Just like Hermione when she uses the Time Turner and watches herself attempting to rescue the hippogriff).

But I digress.

The reception was fine, the food pleasant and the cake amazing, the speeches not toooo long, and the bride, possibly against Good Wedding Etiquette, announced her pregnancy. It was a happy day.

The sun even stayed out.

wedding shoes in the sun

Yep, Mr Soup had sandy shoes too.

It was a very long drive home.

God I’m tired.

The end.

21 March 2007

interactive renovation (a la Joke)

[or 'Help me, I lack inspiration and need to stop banging my head against the wall'].

We are about to renovate our hideous pale green cheap laminate kitchen.

Replacing it with another cheap laminate but hopefully not hideous kitchen. This is where you come in.

I need help with colours and finishes. I have a vague idea in my head that I want all natural finishes (ha, laminate being oh-so-natural ...) to go with this rustic au naturel house. The house is mudbrick so the walls are beige and muddy and uneven, the floors red brick, the cathedral ceiling exposed dark timber with stainless steel ceiling fan. The applicances will be stainless steel with the exception of the existing fridge and microwave which are white and refuse to die so must remain.

We know the layout - L-shaped with the sink in front of the window so I can gaze at the view while washing dishes, and a large island bench behind you (if you're standing at the sink which you do a lot with a family of five) with a big overhang on the far side at which children will eat breakfast while sitting on dark brown wicker stools.

I have a cobalt blue kettle, and several Le Creuset pots n pans in blue too.

We have been through a renovation before and Mr Soup (who thought we were moving to this house because it would never ever ever need anything doing to it hahahahahahahahhahaha oh hahahahahaha) is concentrating on exterior colours ("mud, beige or brown, dear?") and is giving me carte blanche to make the kitchen decisions.

Okay so far?

I've had a look at all the laminate samples and laminate has come a loooong way. (It's also all we can afford). I'm tending to a woodgrain finish for the cupboard doors which by the way must be flat with no profiles or grooves to catch icky kitchen grease and dust. I'm also leaning towards benchtops in a beautiful pale stone effect. Splashback tiles yet undecided, but again something in a neutral/natural finish. Or not. Maybe that's where colour will come in?

BUT, here is my particular challenge. I want the benchtop on the island bench to be a beautiful piece of timber. So that particular bench will differ from the remaining benches. Now, do I go for plain white doors/drawers beneath the island benchtop (because I don't want wood finish doors and a wooden top)? And if so, should all the doors and drawers around the rest of the kitchen be white too, or should I stick with the wood look for them? What kind of wood? Not too pale, as the stone effect bench tops will be pale, but not too dark as there will be overhead cupboards and the house is already quite brownish, as you can probably imagine. If you're still with me.

I am going to work for the next couple of days. And then to a wedding on a beach at dawn.

When I return on Sunday, I would like you to have [virtually] renovated my kitchen.

15 March 2007

Scrabble meme - R

Janet did the Scrabble meme some time ago, and I put my hand up for a scrabble letter.

I scored R.

However I am seriously devoid of words right now (spent all day writing serious, bureaucratic and diplomatic ready-for-freedom-of-information-application-type formal words, do not have words of any kind left in head) so my response is pictorial.

Some are more obscure than others because, well, I like to challenge you.

Fair Bianca (David Austin)


he lolls


SWELL touch my lips

sunrise in the diningroom

#2 sept06b

red wristwarmers

when all else fails
(when all else fails, read the instructions)

airborne at montsalvat

russian literature & babushka

to the rescue
(rescue: this little bird flew into a window, landing at Son #1's feet in a pathetic twisted and shuddering mess. He picked it up and sat quietly with it for a few minutes. Gradually it closed its horribly gasping beak [do birds pant?], pulled its wings in, stood up on #1's palm and rested a few seconds longer, long enough to pose meaningfully for the camera but not quite long enough for me to focus, before taking off).

Fair Bianca
and again, Fair Bianca, my favourite David Austin rose.

If anyone else wants a scrabble letter, let me know and I’ll allocate you one in the comments section.

14 March 2007

pumpkin mania


I’ve been on a pumpkin kick lately.

With the return of morning mists in the valley and a crisp edge to the air in the evenings, I searched for a simple pattern for knitted pumpkins to add to our autumn nature table.

I spotted these over at knitty, but frankly, the idea of knitting several different pieces, sewing them together and then felting the whole thing just seemed like too much bother. It seems I’ve reached my own personal crafting tipping point

So I checked my stash of woollen blankets and op shop jumpers I’ve collected for felting purposes, and found some pleasing oranges and browns.

Et voila! Autumnal pumpkins, sewn from a cream wool blanket, some pale apricot dyed blanket left over from a costume last year, a brown chenille bedspread, a felted orange jumper and bits of brown and green wool felt for the stems.

Some are on our nature table, three went to Son #3’s classroom nature table, and a few to a dear friend for her nature table after she picked up a couple of grocery items for me last week and wouldn’t accept payment (but admired the pumpkins sitting on the kitchen bench).

pumpkins en masse

10 March 2007

I love you. No, really.

Double rainbow out the kitchen window. I'm taking it as a sign of things to come.


Thanks for the offers of help, all you brilliant techie types. Turned out to be embarrassingly simple, something about Netscape not working in 'Compose' mode, but only in 'Edit Html' mode. And the use of sticky tape and bad bad words.

Love to chat but West Wing starts in six minutes and I have to think of a label for this post seeing as we're Beta and all.

Thank you for the birthday wishes. You are a swell bunch.

do we have lift off?

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ...

I think we do.

Now for pretty pictures.

4 March 2007

half empty

Funny how on a blog (ok, this blog) one makes things all pretty and glossy and shiny.

For instance, it's Sunday here and I could quite honestly write the following things:

Mr Soup is spending the weekend with buddies, camping, swimming, exploring the glorious Prom, communing with nature, bonding with his mates and recharging his severely rundown batteries.

This gives me as much unlimited computer/reading/sewing/knitting and tv time as I wish, in addition to plenty of solitude which I seriously crave.

On Friday night I lay on a picnic rug under the trees and (with book and knitting) watched the offspring play in their final cricket matches for the season, later eating fish and chips for dinner under a fluoro sunset sky (on aforementioned picnic rug under said gum trees).

Yesterday we went violin shopping for Son #1 who (finally) needs a full size and superior "advanced student" instrument. After much deliberation we brought home a magnificent instrument for a week's trial. The boy can't keep his hands off it which is good as he now has his private violin teacher, school violin teacher, school orchestra teacher and community orchestra teacher giving him pieces to practise.

There are four boy children running around the garden playing imaginative games, communing with nature and exploring the bush surroundings.

A huge, elderly grey kangaroo has taken up residence next door and can be observed most mornings and evenings, nibbling grass, drinking from the dog's bowl and benevolently eyeing the children.

Or, it could go like this.

Mr Soup has nicked off for the weekend, leaving me to deal with the logistics of getting two children to Friday night cricket matches which start and finish at different times and a third child who threw a tantrum because he didn't want to come but couldn't stay home because, did I mention? Mr Soup has disappeared for the weekend.

The fish and chips were too greasy. Son #3 lost one of the knitting needles.

All that free time to watch films and read blogs and knit? Spent washing, driving and preparing food three times a day for four hungry boys. Two of whom are now old enough to stay up much later at night, thus cutting into that precious solitude.

Saturday was spent driving children all over the place to violin shops and violin teachers, then collecting a fourth child for a sleepover, all the while dragging all my three children with me because, that's right, Mr Soup is off enjoying himself.

Superior violins for "advanced students" are mind numbingly expensive.

The four children (the ring-in is Son #1's best friend, here for the weekend) are going slightly feral and playing a game that somehow involves throwing gumboots at each other.

The kangaroo poohed in the dog bowl, thoroughly confusing the dog next morning.

The car died on Saturday night, leaving us stranded and worried not only about how much it will cost to fix but how I am going to get everyone to work and school and uni this coming week, not to mention getting Son #1's best friend to the train station this afternoon. Because Mr Soup and his car are NOT HERE CAN YOU TELL I AM KIND OF PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS?

My mother has rung twice today. Phone calls with my mother are not brief.
The knitting needle turned up. Broken.
The floors are covered with a fine layer of dust and dog hair.
There is another load of washing to be hung out and three to be folded and put away.

I am very tired.

I think I have pmt.

[Take your pick. Both versions are correct].